Elements of Engineering Excellence

Elements of Engineering Excellence

Elements of Engineering Excellence 1024 700 Eric Roulo

NASA looked back on its illustrious history and condensed the traits that were responsible for its mission successes. They got it down to 9 principles and 27 lessons learned. This list represents over 1 trillion dollars of hardware development. It is foolish to ignore it.

The 9 Principles and 27 Lessons Learned from NASA 1958-2012

  1. System success depends on the creativity, judgment, and decision-making skills of the people
    1. People Are the Prime Resource for Project Success
    2. People Skills are Mandatory for Achieving Successful Products
  2. Space systems are challenging, high-performance systems
    1. Demand for High-Performance Lead to High Power Densities and High Sensitivities
  3. Everything acts as a system (whole)
    1. Systems and Technical Integration
    2. Risk Management
    3. All Design is a Paradox, a Balancing Act
  4. The system is governed by the laws of physics
    1. Physics of the Problems Reigns Supreme
    2. Engineering is a Logical Thought Process
    3. Mathematics is the The Same!
    4. Fundamentals of Launch Vehicle Design
  5. Robust Design is based on our understanding of sensitivities, uncertainties, and margins
    1. Robustness
    2. Understanding Sensitivities and Uncertainties is Mandatory
    3. Margins Must Be Adequate
  6. Project success is determined by life cycle considerations
    1. Design Space Constrained by Where you Are in the Life Cycle
    2. Concept Selection and Design Process
    3. Requirements Drive the Design
    4. Designing for the -ilities and Cost
  7. Testing and verification have an essential role in development
    1. Hardware and Data Have the Answers
    2. Can Test Now or Will Test Later
    3. Independent Analysis, Test, and Design are Keys to Success
    4. All Analyses and Tests are Limited
    5. Scale is a Major Issue
  8. Anticipating and surfacing problems must be encouraged
    1. Must Hear and Understand All Technical and Programmatic Opinions
    2. There are No Small Changes!
    3. Expect the Unexpected
  9. Leadership is the foundation
    1. Integrity
    2. Focus Beyond Yourself

Elements of Engineering Excellence (start here)

Additionally referenced reports